MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
Two well-known and long-time members of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department sustained injuries on the job recently that have them both still recovering.
Fire Fighter Don Purdy was injured when the Baden Engine he was on hit a large, unexpected, unmarked speed bump. Volunteer Fire Fighter and Citizen Services Unit member Steve Stearns was injured when his parked vehicle was struck from behind while he was assisting the Maryland State Police with scene illumination.
Both sustained injuries to their back and necks.
I had the occasion to call and check on Purdy and Stearns and chatted with each for a few minutes.
Fire Fighter Purdy sustained his injuries on the afternoon of June 16 while riding as the officer-in-charge on the way to set up a landing zone for a Maryland State Police Helicopter. Both Purdy and his driver were transported to a hospital. The driver sustained less serious injuries. Purdy remains off-duty and says he is doing OK. He told me he is following doctor’s orders to “take it easy.” Purdy sustained compression fractures in his C11, C12 and L1 and attends regular follow-up visits with medical professionals. He writes updates on his Facebook page, which can be found by clicking here.
Purdy and his doctor feel a return to full duty by August 1 is a realistic estimate. He thanked everyone for their concern.
Steve Stearns is a volunteer member at Kentland Fire/EMS Department. He is also one of the Departments Volunteer Safety Officers and also provides his time, with no compensation, as a Citizen Service Unit (CSU). Steve and Billy McNeel are the only two CSU’s that are on call 24 hours a day. Of course, their personal schedule comes into play and could affect their availability. The CSU’s assist the Fire/EMS Department with many tasks, some of which include connecting displaced residents with the American Red Cross, handle matters of housing with apartment/condo management and have the ability to provide much needed resources to incident scenes. They are also called to assist Police Departments with scene lighting at all hours of late nights and early mornings.
It was on the scene of a motor vehicle crash on the Capital Beltway on May 10 that Steve sustained his injuries. An intoxicated driver slammed into the rear of his parked CSU vehicle. Stearns was in the front seat when the collision occurred and suffered injuries to his C6-C7 discs in his neck. He is still under a doctor’s care and recovering from his injuries. Steve has since returned to his daytime job but has not received medical/Department permission to return to his Fire Department and CSU duties.
The Fire/EMS Department wishes both Don and Steve the best of luck in their recovery process and hope to see them back on the job as soon as they are healthy.